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NEWTON

Newton’s Senior Center to stay put, mayor says

The Newton Senior Center.
The Newton Senior Center.Leslie Anderson

After more than two years of work searching for a new home, Newton’s Senior Center will stay put in its current Newtonville location, according to Mayor Ruthanne Fuller.

A city working group Aug. 12 recommended to Fuller that the proposed Newton Center for Active Living, or NewCAL, be located at the existing Senior Center’s home on Walnut Street, the mayor said in a statement.

Fuller said she and the Newton Council on Aging both agree with the recommendation.

The ultimate decision came down between two locations, she said. One option was to use the Walnut Street site, and decide later whether to build a new center, or renovate and add to the existing one, she said.

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The other option was building a new facility at the Newton Centre Triangle Parking Lot, she said.

“After considering the locations, access to public transit, the length of time it would take to complete, impact to the neighborhood, community support, cost and other factors, the NewCAL Working Group voted unanimously for the Newtonville site,” Fuller said.

In her statement last week, Fuller said there is still much to do at the Walnut Street site, including a City Council review, addressing parking issues, and deciding what to do with the existing building.

Officials will need to find a temporary location for the city’s senior programming during construction, she said.

Since taking office in 2018, Fuller has looked for a way to upgrade the city’s Senior Center — a priority in Newton, where a city estimate predicts one-third of its population will be at least 60 by the end of the decade.

The city reviewed nearly 150 public and private properties to find a potential new home for the center, which is currently housed in a former library.

In January, the city dropped a proposal to use part of Albemarle Field in Newtonville as the location of a new center, following opposition from residents concerned about the loss of public open space due to the project.

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John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.